June 13, 2021

Understanding Contract Drafting by Pragya Mishra

Pragya Mishra

Ms. Prgaya Mishra is litigator practising with the District Courts and the High Court. She graduated in 2018 from New Law College, Bharati Vidyapeeth (Deemed to be) University and did LLM in Constitutional Law from Amity University, Noida

How would you like to introduce yourself to our readers?

Hello everyone, I am Pragya, a litigator practising with the District Courts and the High Court. I have a keen interest in helping people with my legal knowledge. I graduated in 2018 from New Law College, Bharati Vidyapeeth (Deemed to be) University and I did my LLM in Constitutional Law from Amity University, Noida. Apart from law my interest lies in International Affairs, mergers and acquisitions.

Are you a first-generation lawyer in your family? What were your ambitions before joining law? What led to your inclination towards law?

Being from a family of legal professionals, I am a proud second-generation lawyer. My mother is a practising advocate at the High Court of Judicature at Patna. Before joining law, my interest lied in public policy and administrative services. An incident in my neighbourhood in which a child labourer was being shouted at led to my inclination towards law as I was always concerned about the rights of the people and I used to assist my mother in her legal work. Being a girl, we are often subjected to the statement that law is not made for us, but for me law always was my true calling.

Your area of interest revolves around Contract Drafting. Let us know our readers more about it.

Contract drafting is a niche and a dynamic field. The business environment in India is very positive for entrepreneurships and start-ups. Many great start-ups have emerged from India. Contract drafting forms a foundation for many such start-ups as it defines their legal rights and obligations clearly and saves them from unnecessary disputes. Every start-up should have a strong legal foundation so that at the later stages when it expands its operations there should not be unnecessary wastage of resources and time by any legal dispute. As young lawyers it is very important to work on this skill so as to get real time exposure and to cater our services to the budding start-ups.

A self-sufficient practice can also be established in this field if one has appropriate skill set and has an interest in this field.

For example- A and B want to start their own start-up in the field of AI or any such new emerging field. There should be a partnership deed and co-founders’ agreement between them so as to clearly define their rights as well as their obligation towards each other as well as towards the firm. This would help them a lot if in case any legal dispute arises.

Please tell our readers more about the important parts of a contract.

The important parts of a contract are the parties to the contract, recitals, definitions, consideration, operative clauses, indemnity, time period, termination, data privacy clauses and alternative dispute resolution.

In the remote working structure data privacy clauses should be drafted in a stringent manner so that the employers don’t suffer. The roles and obligations should be clearly defined so as to save unnecessary litigations. Dispute resolution mechanism should be first developed within the organisation itself so that they can be redressed by minimum intervention of courts.

What are the important points one should keep in mind while drafting a contract?

It can be hard to contemplate that the things can go wrong as a business owner but pretending that stuff won’t happen is leaving you at a disservice. So, there should be a balancing of interest between both the parties that should be kept in mind while drafting a contract. For example- You can say that due to the nature of your work the employee cannot take a leave on Sundays but you should compensate the leave by providing an option of some other day as a weekly off.

The persons working in the organisation should also understand that they should exercise their good faith for their employers.

Another important point is the contract should be in conformity with the local laws and the remote working structure. It should be tailored accordingly. It should not be heavily tilted in favour of one party.

How one should draft an employment agreement? What to keep in mind?

We should first start from the basic clauses such as the parties, appointment letter, defining the probation period, if any, if it includes any training that is to be given then that also should be defined. What needs to kept in mind is that the clauses should be transparent, leave policy should be transparent, rights and duties should be clearly set out and it should be as per the law. There should be no element of arbitrariness in it.

What would you suggest to our readers for developing career opportunities in Contract Drafting?

There are many career opportunities in the field of contract drafting. The lawyers can work as free-lancers, they can be hired by firms for their dedicated contract-drafting services and one can provide their independent services as well. The work opportunities are not limited to India and it can give international exposure too.

What would be your parting message to our readers?

In today’s scenario we cannot merely believe the words. The solution is that we have to keep the businesses out of court rooms by forming legally binding contracts. This gives a strong foundation to businesses and ease their legal compliances. Contract drafting is a skill that should be polished as a young lawyer and it will take you to golden heights of your career.

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